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Re: why I no longer believe in god* - January 9th 2012, 07:07 PM

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Originally Posted by Toz View Post
You seem to be pulling in the God of the gaps- if science doesn't have an answer, then the de facto one is god. This is illogical thinking at its worst. In the words of Neil de Grasse Tyson, "If that's how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then God is an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance."
I wasn't actually trying to pull in "the God of the gaps" - for one thing, I find it an unsatisfactory response to what it is most commonly applied to. My point was more that in order for Occam's Razor to be applicable, you need to actually have freestanding, comparable yet conflicting hypotheses to apply it to in the first place. Hence the "all things being equal" part I made reference to, which for some reason appears to be omitted from some versions of it. As such, I was questioning the validity of applying Occam's Razor in the first place rather than trying to espouse an argument for God. Hope that clears things up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toz View Post
The rest of your argument is pretty well formed, and I applaud you. Much better than most of what I see here.
Thank you - much obliged. Likewise, the nature of your response is much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toz View Post
OP kind of misuses Occam's Razor. It purely states that amongst a set of hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions is most probably the truest. The problem is that it can be used to either end when having the God argument. I can argue that the universe is easier to imagine as the result of divine creation, but at the same time, I can argue that a universe without a God is a simpler, easier one to comprehend. In my eyes, that renders Occam's Razor redundant in this context.
Agreed - see above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toz View Post
The Bible in and of itself has not stayed the same over time. This article talks about that: even thought the work is unfinished, they have found thousands of changes over time in it. http://www.nola.com/religion/index.s..._scholars.html
Errors in translation, copying mistakes and the occasional moving of an account from one gospel to another does not equal wholesale change to the extent the OP was alluding to. By and large, the narrative of the New Testament has remained constant since c.400 CE - Jesus has not suddenly started cartwheeling down from the cross accompanied to the music of Jesus Christ Superstar in any version, for example. (Don't ask where that example came from, I'm not actually sure myself...!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toz View Post
My next point: isn't it established in the Judeo-Christian canon that we were created simply for the purpose of worship? We existed purely to follow his word, and in a sense, flatter his ego. It's like saying, "Here! Look how I awesome I am! I created you purely to tell me that every Sunday!"
Nope - read Genesis 1:28:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Genesis 1:28
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
You will note the absence of anything about worship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toz View Post
Why didn't you like The God Delusion? I thought it was well articulated and organized. It was presented in a way that made it easy enough for someone with no philosophical or biological knowledge to understand, and it's a good "gateway" book to other atheistic texts.
My main objections were that his attempts at philosophy were superficial at best and flawed at worst (in particular he shows very little grasp of the "first cause" argument given his response to it), that he far too readily goes for "easy targets" like extremists to avoid a proper critique of religion and religious believers, and his employment of double standards between religion and atheism to the extent that Prospect magazine denounced it as "contradictory". He also appears to have relied upon discredited research by Marc Hauser in at least one section on universal morality, which is never good practice. On the whole, though, my biggest problem is he seems to have treated the entire field of philosophy of religion at not worthy of investigation, to the extent that fellow atheistic philosopher Michael Ruse declared himself "ashamed to be an atheist" as a result of it. I realise that all probably sounds a bit harsh, but ultimately Professor Dawkins sought to enter the realms of philosophical debate and if you're going to do that you'd better do it properly. He didn't. Hence why I prefer to point people in the direction of a foundation-level philosophy textbook, as it arguably has more substance to it.

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Originally Posted by chickenonsteroids View Post
So what you're basically saying is whether any sort of proof suffices?
Nope - I was challenging the nature of the question on the grounds that reasonableness is purely in the eye of the beholder. What one person deems reasonable in a certain context may be deemed unreasonable by another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenonsteroids View Post
Ok, rather than occam's razor (which i admit was sort of out of it's correct context) why should I believe in something because it could be there rather than it actually being there. If that makes sense.
If it forms a suitable explanation for observable phenomena, that tends to suffice in most circles including scientific. No one has actually seen the Higgs boson (at the time of writing), yet its existence is "believed in" because it provides the best possible explanation thus far.

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Originally Posted by chickenonsteroids View Post
No not really, It is saying that he demands worship and I've said why? Secondly, this absence of god and his omniscient-ness surely he'd never leave? Why is should salvation be the gift into heaven if you've lived an immoral life?
You haven't actually answered my question, I'm afraid - as shown above, the very first command to humans in the Bible is "Be fruitful and multiply". Not "Now BOW BEFORE ME, MORTALS!" or such like. The traditional understanding is that worship is not an act carried out because of coercion or command, but as an expression of gratitude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenonsteroids View Post
Aha it has... From 1750 BCE there was the belief that there were many gods; including Yahweh's son and wife. My question is ... what god are you talking about ? How are you 100000% certain it's yours? Who says it isn't allah? Didn't you just say that occam's Razor doesn't work that well in this context? Plus just getting rid of them because it is simpler is rather cruel don't you think? It's undermining the whole idea it in my opinion.
First, careful with overstating the strength of your claims - the consort one in particular is quite strongly disputed in scholarly circles and is mostly on the fringe of the debate. Second, the only reference to Yahweh's son I am aware of is in the context of Jesus, so I'm not quite sure where you've brought that claim up from. Third, you should remember that God, Yahweh and Allah are actually all one and the same, so one of those questions immediately becomes redundant. Fourth, this is not the same context as the above - in this context, you have two competing versions of theism, one with many gods responsible for different traits a la Olympus, the other with one god in charge of the whole kitten kaboodle. Occam's Razor deems the latter simpler, and therefore probably the correct one. It's reductionism in action. Fifth, where exactly does cruelty come into the equation? Should they exist, I doubt the actions of a 24-year-old Law graduate are going to perturb them much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenonsteroids View Post
The brain is quite a powerful and wonderful thing... people do get a lot of joy out of using religion as a comfort point. People still pray when they're in danger even though the chances of anything happening are quite low... then if something good does happen they'd think that god did it.
I'm afraid that doesn't actually address my point either, unfortunately - it neither asserts religion as necessary for self-governance, nor evidences consistently higher ease of life with religion compared with without. The brain being quite powerful comment meanwhile is purely a re-statement without further development -the power of the brain alone does not explain why such a concept need be retained when others exist, and if anything suggests it should be able to readily come up with alternatives of its own. Mere comfort value alone does not explain the persistence of it in light of the sizeable obligations it places upon its adherents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenonsteroids View Post
Oh and don't worry i'm not as much of a beginner in philosophy as you make it out to seem although my points may make it seem that way unfortunately
Apologies if it came across that way - wasn't my intention. It was more that such books often give a very good summary and a springboard to further reading which you may find helpful.


"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

However bleak things seem, however insurmountable the darkness appears, remember that you have worth and nothing can take that away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OMFG!You'reActuallySmart! View Post
If you're referring to dr2005's response, it's not complex, however, he has a way with words .

Last edited by dr2005; January 9th 2012 at 07:25 PM. Reason: Avoiding a double post...
   
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